Romania’s top court has acquitted Teodosie, the Romanian Orthodox Archbishop of Tomis of embezzling funds from the European Union.
The High Court of Cassation and Justice on Friday acquitted Teodosie of defrauding the EU following a trial of almost three years. The ruling is final and came after an acquittal from a lower court. There was no immediate reaction from the archbishop.
Teodosie went on trial in 2017 on charges that he and five others made false and incomplete documents and statements to an agency that made payments for a farm that they falsely claimed was used for wine-making in the town of Nazarcea, a wine-making region. The other defendants were also acquitted.
In reality,there were only weeds growing on the farm.
He was the first Romanian Orthodox Church bishop to be charged with a felony.
Teodosie Petrescu,64, oversees the Tomis Archiepiscopacy, a diocese in the county of Constanta by the Black Sea, the oldest Christian region in the country.
Since 1994, he has also been a member of Romanian Orthodox Church’s Holy Synod, the highest church authority.
He collaborated with the Securitate secret police before the 1989 revolution.